Procrastination: It works for me!

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As 2014 rapidly approaches, so does the endless lists of New Year resolutions.  One resolution that has been at the top of my list for as long as I remember is to stop procrastinating.  I have given myself the title of Master Procraster.  Although procrastination has never prevented me from meeting a deadline, I have always felt that I needed to stop doing it.  I am notoriously punctual.  I’m never late so I often wondered it procrastination was a real problem for me.  I have always been able to work well under pressure, but this year I made it a point of getting assignments and projects done early.  I finished several papers well before their due dates, submitted proposals and outlines shortly after they were assigned, and I felt no great sense of relief.  I was actually a little bored having all of my work done with nothing pressing down upon me.  I reviewed my work and I didn’t see any great difference in the content or quality.  So why do I need to quit procrastinating, or why is procrastination such a bad thing.  It’s not for me.

One of my professors mentioned to the class that he would be absent at the end of the week because he was presenting at a conference.  We asked him about his presentation and he gave us a brief and interesting description. Then he told us that he had not written it yet.  As the week progressed, each day we asked about his presentation we were told that he had yet to write it.  Finally, the day before his conference, he said that he still hadn’t written the paper he was presenting and that he would outline it on the plane and write it the night before the presentation.  He went on to tell us that he had the entire paper planned out in his mind and it would be nothing for him to sit down for a couple of hours and type it out.  This is when something clicked in my head.  It is okay to procrastinate if you are good at it.

Just like my professor, I plan things out in my head before I execute them.  I can get very  busy and some things take precedent over others.  I have household chores, my child’s activities, my activities, and all of the other things that are a part of life.  I like to take care of all of those things first.  I personally find it hard to focus if I have a laundry to do, dinner to plan, and even time to relax.  There have been times when I took an extra 3 hours to catch up on a season of Mad Men when I had papers to write, presentations to plan, and other pressing deadlines.  I could have used that time to focus on those things, but I didn’t and it was okay.  I was still able to get meet all of those deadlines because I had all of them planned out in my mind.  I wasn’t physically typing away on my keyboard, but I had been working.  I spend a lot of time thinking.  As I am cleaning my house, waiting in the car line to pick up my son from school, or any other activity that does not use a lot of brainpower, I’m thinking and planning.  So when I am ready to sit down and write that paper, or prepare for that presentation, I have something to work with.  It’s like riding a train.  Although you may be sitting still, you are still making progress toward your destination.

So if you are a Master Procraster, don’t be so hard on yourself.  If you are able to meet deadlines and produce quality work is there a reason for you to change?  I don’t think so.  There may be things that you can’t put off until the last minute, but if you can, and it is not going to harm you in any way, by all means, do it.

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Getting Back on Track

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Thursday I had a major wake up call.  The day after taking my last final and the first day of my winter break,  I was in the emergency room.  I was so sick that I was truly scared.  I ached from head to toe.  What had started as just an irritating dry cough had turned into an uncontrollable force.  I had not been taking care of myself and this was the result.

I often brag about not getting sick.  It has been over twenty years since I had the flu.  From what the emergency room doctor told me what I had was not the flu, but some other equally horrible viral syndrome.  After being diagnosed and given a prescription that I was not going to fill, I went home.  I spent the next four days in bed coughing and thinking about the weeks that led to my sickness.  I was finishing up my last two weeks of the semester, studying for finals, and writing papers.  I was so preoccupied with my studies that I neglected my health.  I was living on coffee, the occasional (or not so occasional) doughnut, and it seemed that every student organization was having a bake sale that needed my support.  I had stopped juicing for at least a week, I skipped my morning workout at least four times, and was staying up later and getting up earlier every day.  My body could not work with what I was giving it and it finally gave out.

Now that I am recuperating, I am on a mission to get back on track.  I have already felt the results.  Although I am not quite 100%,  I am much better.  I’ve started detoxing my system and pushing out all of the bad and replacing it with good.  I have learned a very valuable lesson.  No matter how busy I get, my health will always be a priority.

Busy!

I have taken my last final!  It has been a very busy semester and I am so thankful that I made it through.  I am looking forward to blogging more now that I have some extra time.  I have really missed it, but I have been so busy.  It has all been worth it.  I have learned so many things.  I have also been doing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  I really love this book!  I have learned so much about myself and it has really helped me reunite with my creative side.  I am looking forward to more blog posts and catching up on some of my favorite blogs.  I can’t wait to see what I have been missing during this busy time.  They always inspire me and push me to continue on my positive journey.

Editing Tips: Grammarly

This is a really great post and a great blog for the beginning writer.

Shannon A Thompson

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because Bogart would rather I spend time feeding him than editing. ;]

No. Really. This sentence defines what my first post in August will be about: editing. Here’s to August–another month of writing, reading, and dreaming is ahead of us, and I wanted to begin with a very helpful website you can consider using for editing purposes.

Grammarly is an online editor, but it is beyond spellchecker. As described on their website, Grammarly “corrects contextual spelling mistakes, checks for more than 250 common grammar errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and provides citation suggestions. More than 3 million registered users worldwide trust Grammarly’s products.”

On top of that, it has numerous settings, including General, Business, Academic, Technical, Creative, and Casual. (I used the casual setting for this post.) There’s also a support page where you can communicate with other writers.

Other things to know I found out while testing…

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